the-south-asian Life & Times               July - September 2010




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India’s newest music festival city


The 500-year-old Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur is essentially a museum. But for five days and nights in October each year, timed to coincide with the brightest full moon of the year in India, the fort turns into a folk music venue, filled to the brim with music lovers.  As the sky turns deep purple and the last rays of sunlight fade away, the evening comes alive with music and dance performances, which start at sunset in candlelit venues and continue into the early hours – a breathtaking full moon beaming down on Mehrangarh.

More than 200 musicians and performing artists from across Rajasthan and around the world gather here to celebrate their musical heritage and create new sounds through innovative collaborations in spectacular one-off concerts in what is India’s newest music festival – the Rajasthan International Folk festival or RIFF, as it is more popularly known. It is a unique opportunity to appreciate the incredibly rich cultural heritage of the region.

Performances start at sunset in candlelit venues and continue into the early hours – a breathtaking full moon beaming down on Mehrangarh and its gathering of music lovers.

The festival is where - the gentle swirl of Ghoomar shares stage with the vigour and energy of flamenco; algoza meets beatboxing; master musicians from Rajasthan’s artistic communities perform late into the night; and global dance grooves keep the party going late into the night in a 15th century courtyard christened, for the five days of the festival, Club Mehran!  The annual Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur is the most awaited festival happening in India. HH Maharaja Gaj Singh II of Jodhpur and Sir Mick Jagger are the patrons of this music extravaganza.

Read the entire article in the print edition of The South Asian Life & Times





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